Mel’s Favorite Fare


Desserts! Now that I have your attention, let’s proceed.

Caramel apple squares

1/2 C unsalted butter (melted)

1/4 C granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1 C all-purpose flour

Apple Filling:

2 large apples (thinly sliced)

2 TBS flour

2 TBS sugar

1 TBS ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Crumb Topping:

1/2 C old-fashioned oats

1/3 C brown sugar

4 TBS all-purpose flour

5 TBS chilled butter, cubed

jar of caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 9×9 pan with non-stick spray and set aside. For crust, mix butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in bowl until combined. Add flour and mix again. Using your hands, press crust mixture into 9×9 pan until all mixture is evenly distributed. Bake for 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, prepare apple filling. Put sliced apples in large bowl. Pour flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until apples are coated. Set aside.

To make crumb topping, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in small bowl. Use your hands or a pastry blender to mix in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Remove crust from oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour apple mixture on top of warm crust and use back of a spoon to press down apples to lie across smoothly. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of apples until covered. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Then place in fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Cut apple pie bars and serve warm or cold. Drizzle caramel sauce on top just before serving.


Best poke cake

Cooking spray

1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients called for on box


1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

4 TBS melted butter

1/2 C packed brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of kosher salt


1/2 C heavy cream

1 8-oz. block cream cheese

4 TBS butter, softened

1 C powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-baking pan with cooking spray. Prepare cake according to package directions. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

For filling, in a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

For frosting, in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until no lumps remain. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth, then add in vanilla and a pinch of salt. Fold in whipped cream until just combined.

Using bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over cake. Pour filling over and use a rubber spatula to push into holes. Top with cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.


Banana crumb cake


2 C flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3 bananas

1/2 C butter, softened

1-1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 C milk


1 C butter, cold, cubed

2 C brown sugar, light

2 C flour

Spray a 9×13-baking pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash bananas until they become liquefied. Mix in butter until combined and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture and milk.

In a separate bowl, combine cold butter, light brown sugar, and flour. Cut them together using two forks or a pastry blender until coarse crumbles form. Pour half of cake batter into greased pan followed by 1/2 of crumb topping. Pour remaining batter on top of crumb topping, ended with remaining topping. Place pan in oven and bake for 55 minutes, or until center is set.


She said, “Somebody just honked to get me out of my parking spot faster, so now I will have to sit here until both of us are dead.”

If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.

(Melanie Behrens

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